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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 23 visit repetition, repetition. Business is not like pathology—which none of us could ever master in its entirety (well, unless you're Ruth Werner). Business consists of a few key fundamentals you must, and can, master. The challenge is repetition, repetition, repetition. You can write a good email once, right? Can you keep doing it? Give a great massage? How about four more times today? What is your massage practice literacy? 1. HAVE A CLEAR VISION OF YOUR DIRECTION Give yourself 5 points if you can summarize your passion and practice's focus in one sentence; 0 points if you think direction only belongs in a popular boy band's name. KRISTIN COVERLY: Wouldn't it be great if we could be everything to everyone all the time? And also omniscient and perfect? Yes! But cruel reality dictates we can't be any of those things. Sigh. Accepting this and moving forward, the next best thing you can do for your practice is to get clear about what aspects of massage and bodywork you really enjoy doing (dare I say love) and what type of clients you're best suited to help, and then focus on doing those things really, really well. Don't passively let your practice form on its own (this happens all too easily). Set aside time for soul- searching and brainstorming to determine what you want for your practice: Who do you want to work with? Where do you want to work? What modalities do you want to practice? Identifying these preferences doesn't mean you aren't open to working with all clients; it simply helps you focus your marketing efforts and decision-making to steer your practice in the right direction so you're not spending a lot of time and energy building a practice you're only partially passionate about. Instead of trying to be all things to all clients, how about concentrating on being just the right therapist for your ideal practice? 2. GET REGULAR MASSAGE Add 5 points if you got a massage in the last seven days; subtract 3 points if your back spasmed when you read this. LS: How many massages do you get a month? First, you better be able to answer this question. And it should be greater than one. If you don't get it, why should I believe what you say to me about how important it is? That's why I've made the commitment—for one, I need regular massage. Life is getting harder. And if I don't "walk the walk," what good am I? We can expand this thought a bit further and look at it as, are you taking care of yourself? You don't have to be Mark Wahlberg or Jillian Michaels, but you do represent positive health care—difficult to do so if you live a less-than-healthy lifestyle. 3. SCHEDULE A WEEKLY APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF Earn 4 points if you have weekly office time; 1 point if you sit at your desk sometimes; 0 points if your answer starts with, "I've been meaning to …" KC: If you're like any other adult human on the planet, you have a long to-do list of things you want and need to accomplish every day. So saying you'll get to practice management or marketing tasks "when you have a minute" really means never, or when it's almost too late to send that client's birthday note or your monthly email blast (you're sending a monthly email, right?). Do yourself a favor and keep up with important tasks and decrease your overall stress level by scheduling weekly time to market and manage your practice. Set yourself up for success by picking a consistent day and time—say, Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.—and putting it on your calendar every week. When I finally did this, my anxiety level dropped significantly because I wasn't always playing catch-up or worrying about what I was forgetting to do; I was proactively taking care of the important day-to-day aspects of managing and marketing my practice. Is it always easy to carve out this time? No. Is it always helpful? Yes. 4. TALK ABOUT MASSAGE IN PUBLIC Add 10 points if you gave a speech/talk about the benefits of massage in the last 60 days; 0 points if you counted yelling, "I need a massage!" in the grocery store. LS: Now, you don't want to be like one of those people who talks about CrossFit/supplements/hobbies/grandkids/politics, etc. all the time, BUT, you are an entrepreneur and your business success is predicated on establishing a public profile. The saying goes, "MTs can't live on friends alone." Actually, that's something I just made up, but I think it makes sense. You have to go out and acquire new clients. One way to do so is to present yourself to the available public as a resource. What does that mean? Well, it does not mean yelling at people in the grocery store about thoracic outlet syndrome. But, offering your expertise for a career day at your kid's school, presenting to a Rotary club, or participating in a wellness-related radio show are all possible opportunities to raise your profile and further educate potential clients.

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